This text is an attempt to reflect upon and, especially, to measure anomie in Slovakia today. It concentrates both on classic theoretical approaches towards a sociological definition of anomie (É. Durkheim, R. K. Merton, P. L. Berger and T. Luckmann) and on methodological questions regarding the measurement of anomie (É. Durkheim, R. K. Merton, L. Srole, W. H. Form). At the core of this study is an attempt to create a special model for the measurement of societal anomie, i.e. anomie as a state of society. The model contains 24 elements which represent individual manifestations of anomie corresponding to its basic components (absence of norms, non-functioning institutions, and failure of sanctioning executives). This model presents one possible approach in the research of societal anomie. The level of anomie is estimated on the basis of experts' cognitive evaluations (assessment scales). Subsequently, it is reflected in the constructed anomie index that expresses its relative level under explicitly defined possibilities and limits. An empirical estimate of the level of societal anomie in Slovakia is approximately 68% of the possible maximum (100%), which justifies the conclusion that Slovak society is anomic in a considerably high degree. Besides findings concerning the individual components of the model, the empirical analysis of data (representative for the whole of Slovakia in 2001) also contains results of factor analysis that make it possible to identify 6 main anomic segments and includes essential findings from an analysis of sensitivity. There is an indication that the differences in sensitivity for qualifying the state of anomie, applied by relevant social categories of experts, are surprisingly low and usually not significant. Together with other findings, this warrants the conclusion that the estimation of the level of anomie is sufficiently reliable.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.